Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hummingbird babies!!!

My daughter befriended a hummingbird at the beginning of the summer. His name is Lavender. Recently, Lavender and his wife, who hasn't been named yet, had babies in a nest in our backyard. With my nifty new Sony Cyber-shot with 15X zoom, I was able to capture this nest which is the size of my fist. It wasn't until I downloaded the file that I noticed a second beak. Can you see it? (Click the picture to make it bigger.) They are such fun to watch and are very social little guys. We have two feeders nearby to entice them to stick around...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a party!

Wanted to share some fun pics from the recent 80's party we attended.

First of all, I woke up and went to the kitchen where I found my husband. I went to kiss him good morning and had to scream because the mustache/goatee thing he's had going for the past seven or so years was completely gone!

It went from this.... this!

All so that he could turn into this frightening character for the party!

The hosts outdid themselves with the music, Atari video games to play, commemorative CD sets to take home, a costume contest (to which we are still awaiting the results - I voted for the Magnum P.I. look-alike), Tiger Beat posters in the bathroom, and a keg! (I know kegs are still around but I haven't drank from one since the 80's.)

This last one was taken towards the end of the evening after my hair wilted. I didn't do like in the old days and go to the bathroom every thirty minutes to respray my hair!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Domo-kun cracks me up!

Have you seen this guy?! Just looking at him makes me laugh. I first saw him this picture of some kittens being chased by two Domo's and thought it was the funniest thing ever! According to Wikipedia, he's a mascot for some Japanese TV station.

I just discovered these clips on YouTube that feature Domo-kun that are very entertaining even though they're all in Japanese. The bats are pretty funny too!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is God egocentric????

There other day, in a conversation about God, I asked what happens to someone who lives their whole life with kindness, compassion, and selflessness but who does not believe in God? Of course those who I put the question to all believed in an afterlife. I don't think any of them felt comfortable with this question, though.

It seems to me that most who believe in God think that it is a requirement to believe in Him in order to end up in heaven. As I mull this over, I have to wonder about a God who would condemn a person who lives in accordance with His commandments for the sole reason of a disbelief in Him. If this is how God operates, I find it very egocentric. I can't believe that God would have this character flaw so therefore come to the conclusion that belief in God is not a requirement for admission into heaven.

I guess that it's good though that I've come back to the conclusion that there is a God because I was going back on forth with that for awhile. There was a podcast recently that help me with that struggle to believe. It's an American Public Media show called Speaking of Faith and the podcast talked about God from a scientific perspective which was refreshing. Most religious people I've heard have to suspend rational thought when they talk about their faith but John Polkinghorne didn't do that. Speaking of Faith is a great show and I'm enjoying exploring the faiths of others and broadening my limited Catholic-influenced perspective.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My blog going forward

When I first began this blog in October, I barely knew what blogging was. Amazingly, most of my friends are still at this stage. The other night at book club, I mentioned something I wrote on my blog and they looked at me like a had a third arm growing out of the top of my head. "You wrote in your what?!"

My posts in the beginning were innocuous with the subject matter limited to loving the fall season and posting my kids' artwork. Lately, I've been branching out in my posts and I must say I've pissed some people off. (I can say "pissed" now because my dad has told me he's stopped reading what I have to say due to one of these more controversial posts. Pissed! Pissed! Pissed!)

I hear the really big bloggers say that they have to grow a thick skin to be able to do what they do. While I admire their blogging savvy and success, I do not aspire to join their ranks. There is just too much pressure at their level and I do this for fun.

That being said, I do enjoy all the comments from people and hope to hear more from the cyber-world. I appreciate all sides and perspectives and it helps me to broaden my thinking. I plan on posting my thoughts on controversial issues in the future and not shy away from my convictions. I hope my friends and family will support me (even when they disagree with what I'm saying). If anyone I have a relationship with thinks that this will damage the relationship, I respect your decision to stop visiting. I'd rather have your love and/or friendship than your readership.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My man doesn't wear a flak jacket!

Barack Obama is having an awesome trip overseas! I'm so proud of him! I say we just skip the vote in November and just move him into the White House today! Did anyone catch his speach in Berlin? The crowd was ginormous! McCain is not looking quite as presidential riding around in a golf cart....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The right way to use the phone

There are two kinds of phone people in the world: those who use the phone primarily for communication purposes and those who use it for entertainment purposes.

If you are a communication based phone user you never call someone without a known purpose. You call to set dates, obtain information, or coordinate plans. It never occurs to you to pick up the phone “just to talk.”

Those of you who use it for entertainment also use it for communication, but that’s secondary. You types have a phone on your ear for extended periods of time and, if you don’t believe in call waiting, you can never be reached because your phone is always busy. You call when you’re in the car or bored at home with your kids or shopping.

I’m a communication phone person, and entertainment phone users drive me crazy! When I first realize that a person is calling and that they don’t really have anything to say, I try to be polite. I tell myself they just want some company. Actually, if this is the case and we’re face-to-face versus on the phone, I love spending time with them. I just have no tolerance when it’s over the phone. First of all, it makes my ear sore. Second of all, if they call when I’m in the house I have to stop what I’m doing or else get a crick in my neck from holding the phone with my shoulder so I can continue doing laundry, picking up, or feeding the dog. Today, someone called to “shoot the shit” and I was halfway through blowing up this giant beach ball sprinkler that my kids were anxiously awaiting. I had to put it down and they had to wait an extra twenty minutes until I could graciously get off the line.

The thing that’s the worst about entertainment phone users is, if you try to explain to them that you’re not like them, they get their feelings hurt. They think you just don’t want to talk to them. They can’t comprehend a person that doesn’t enjoy just killing some time talking about the outrageous price of avocados or what happened on American Gladiator yesterday. A lot of them don’t get the clue either when you say, “I really need to hang up now. I have so much to do.” They just keep talking and won’t say goodbye.

I'm trying to teach this concept to my daughter now. She wants to call her best friend all the time and I ask her why. Most of the time she can't tell me so I don't let her call. I'm more than happy to let her invite her friends over or let her go to their houses, though. I will do my best to steer her away from using the phone for entertainment. This is probably not practical with the teenage years looming. I myself was a horrible entertainment phone user in high school. I'm going to keep up the lecturing, though.

I have a number of friends and family who are entertainment phone users. Most of the time, when they call, I just don’t pick up. I figure it’s better to do this than to hurt their feelings and tell them I don’t have time to talk to them right now. I push it as far as I can. Eventually, I have to pick up because they never leave messages (how can they when they’re calling with nothing to say!) and they’ll start to think I’m avoiding them. When I finally pick up I get myself in the mindset that I’m going to have to listen to their purposeless babbling and be patient. They’ll complain and say, “Didn’t you see on your caller id that I’ve been trying to reach you for the past week?” I’ll counter with, “I figured, if it were something important, you’d leave a message. I don’t really look at my calling log.”

They probably think I’m cold and rude but I’m not. Like I said, if I meet them for lunch or a visit at their house or mine, I love to talk about nothing and everything. That’s a time that I’ve blocked out and dedicated to them. I value the relationships I have with them and truly enjoy their company. I just can’t do it on the phone and have no desire to waste entire blocks of my day this way.

Blogging and checking out other’s blogs, on the other hand, is a different story......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Facebook Flair

Wanted to post my "flair" from Facebook. I think it tells a lot about me - interests, beliefs, passions. I know it's a silly thing to waste time on but I can't help myself! Tell me if there are any you especially like! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another poem

My son just came in as I was surfing my favorite blogs and thinking about a post for the day. He had on a ninja mask and a baseball cap and told me he wanted to recite a poem for me. I said OK wondering why he was dressed like one of Michael Jackson's children and thinking he'd tell me a poem he had heard in school or something. He proceeded to recite this:

My bed is made of money.

My mom is made out of metal.

And my soul is rotten dirty.

And who cares about the mayor!

It's his own creation although I suspect that it was inspired by something. I probably will never find out the source or why it was necessary to say it with a ninja mask. He is really into earning money at the moment to fuel his obsession of playing Wii. I'm guessing the metal mom reference probably originated from watching Transformers. He really has not demonstrated any curiosity about God or religion in general so the third line has me baffled. I'm pretty sure he is not concerned with the purity of his soul. The last line sounds like it was just inserted for rythmic/rhyming purposes. Interestingly though, he corrected me when I typed the last word "mare" and he wanted to be sure that I typed the word for a "rich guy."

It was definitely entertaining enough for a post, though, don't cha think?

I have a wonderfully strange son!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My son's new best friend....

The other day, my seven year old son was listing his best friends and, halfway down the list, he mentioned one of his friend's dad. This initially surprised me and later freaked me out. Am I overreacting? My husband says I need to go with my gut feelings. My gut feeling says there is something sinister about a man who is that "fun" to a child and the potential for predatory sexual advances is there. Here's what I know about him:
  1. If he works at all, his hours are such that he is at school drop off and pick up most of the time.
  2. His wife is very shy and quiet.
  3. He likes to gather groups of boys and invite them to do things with him and his two sons.
  4. He lives in a clean, well kept house in a lower income area of town.
  5. He speaks with an accent and might be Indian or from somewhere in the Middle East.
  6. He is personable and outgoing.
  7. When my son goes to play, he always comes back saying he and his friends played fun games with him.
  8. His son is very mischievous and doesn't listen to me when he comes to play but seems otherwise, well adjusted.
None of the things above bothered me until my son listed him as a best friend. Now I'm torn between not wanting to make something out of nothing, and the fear that I could be right and allow something to happen.

What does everyone think and what would you do?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Let's party!!!!!!

We were invited to an 80's party in the neighborhood. You can't believe the excitement and preparation it has evoked in me and my husband. It's bordering on pathetic the extent to which we are preparing for it. What am I saying?! There's no bordering! We're way BEYOND pathetic. Regardless. We are assembling our "outfits" (my husband just modeled his and I must say he looked hotter than I've seen him in ages - not joking), and we have put together our top eight song lists, as requested. What's really funny is how different our lists are and how much we despise each other's! Here they are (guess which one is mine and which one is my husband's - it's not hard):

List One (hit play at the bottom of my blog to hear some of them)
  1. Def Leppard - Another Hit and Run
  2. Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
  3. AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
  4. Judas Priest - Living After Midnight
  5. Guns N’ Roses - Sweet Child o’ Mine
  6. Twisted Sister - I Wanna Rock (full version – with Neidermeyer at the beginning)
  7. The Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane
  8. Sammy Hagar - I Can’t Drive 55
List Two
  1. The Smiths - Girlfriend in a Coma
  2. Talk Talk - Such a Shame
  3. Erasure - Hideaway
  4. New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
  5. Depeche Mode - Everything Counts
  6. Violent Femmes - Add It Up
  7. Wham! - Freedom
  8. Traci Ullman - They Don't Know
I have also pulled out my talking Pee Wee Herman doll to use as a party decoration and have some bodacious Tiger Beat posters that I'm loaning the hosts. I have 100+ 45's that I'm considering bringing over but am afraid might get trashed in the exuberance of the evening. I don't know about the rest of 'em but I'm "going to party like it's 1999!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Husband's in a video!

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Sea creatures

My daughter, who is a complete nature-lover, captured all these things on the beach last week.

1. A crab

2. Some fish

3. A dead moon jelly-fish

4. Some other kind of creepy live stingy jellyfish

5. Another crab

Not bad for a week at the beach. The hard part was convincing her we did not have room in the car for all these creatures to come home with us......

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

People who know me will not be surprised....

I just took a test to find out what age I act like. I'm not sure if the results are good or bad but I think they're pretty accurate....

You Act Like You Are 21 Years Old

You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel like an adult, and you're optimistic about life.

You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

You're still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.

The world is full of possibilities, and you can't wait to explore many of them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No More Money!!!!!!

I just got an email from the Obama campaign that asked me to watch this video. It’s basically a plea for more money. Their rationale is the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee has raised almost $100 million and is claiming to outspend the Obama campaign 3-to-1 in TV advertising over the past few months. They say that most of this is on untrue negative ads. Barack’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, says he needs all of Obama’s 1.7 million donors (which includes me) to contribute yet again to be able to defend themselves against this McCain advantage.

I wish I could pick up the phone and ask Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Obama some questions. If I could here’s what they would be:

  1. Why is it the person who has the most money is assured to win? Does that mean they think that most voters are stupid and basing their decision to vote on the candidate who has enough money to be in our face on TV the most? I myself vote on issues and qualifications and am not in the least influenced by a slick commercial slamming the other candidate.
  2. Considering how much more successful the RNC/McCain organization has been at raising money the past two months, wouldn’t it have been better for Barack to have stuck to his promise for public funding to keep a level playing field? Did he get too cocky about his grassroot support?

I had a really positive experience getting involved and hosting my recent “Unite for Change” house party but have since been inundated with Democrats’ requests for money. It’s really bummed me out to see all these politicians with their hands out asking for money.

Gas prices are out of control which are affecting the price of everything. There are so many poor people in this world struggling to survive. Do politicians really think they deserve my family’s hard earned money over us and all the struggling people out there? I’m still voting for Obama in the fall but I’m sorry, David Plouffe. You’re barking up the wrong tree!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Outer Banks T-Shirts

Every year we go to the Outer Banks in NC with Scott's family. My mother-in-law always does a "pirate day" where the pirates come and leave treasure on the beach for the kids. She goes all out with decorations, tatoos, bags and goodies and it's her favorite day.

The grandkids now number eight and the age range is three months to ten years old. She asked me to do T-shirts for everyone since it's getting impossible to find the same shirt in that big of a range of sizes. I'm really pleased with my first attempt and wanted to share the end result.

I found a place online that just sells T-shirts so was able to get blank ones in a broad size range. Then I found some clip art I liked and printed it on to iron on printer paper (you have to remember to reverse the words so they look right when you iron them on). The skulls that I imagined to be white didn't come out that way when I ironed them on (Duh! The printer won't put white ink on the transfer!). I found these white fabric paint markers at our local craft store to color in the skulls. This worked well but made me realize I probably need bifocals! It was so hard to focus on those edges! Lastly, for the girls, I sewed little beads to the collar to add a little bling. I can't wait to see them on the kids!

Friday, July 4, 2008

My talented family

My brother-in-law, Joe, just sent me the address to his new blog, Rocco and Joey. It's so good! There's not much up on it yet but what's there is impressive. He wants to be a published author/illustrator of children's books. Based on what's there in the blog, how can he not be?! This is him a few summers ago doodling by the pool.

I've mentioned my sister-in-law (his wife) before in this blog. She's the founder of Belly Giggles Photography and she is equally gifted, artistically.

What a talented bunch! Their kids are still young but I'm sure I'll be bragging about their accomplishments soon! Way to go, guys! I'm proud to be related!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ordering at the deli counter

I was at the deli counter today. My experience is always the same. There's like three people back there who ignore you for awhile. Then one of them starts helping but the other two keep on ignoring everybody. The one who finally acknowledges that there are people who want something moves VERY SLOWLY and starts slicing some meat. All the while, the line continues to grow and the other two chat with the one slicing stuff and push a rag listlessly over the counters and the other inactive slicing machine. My kids start to play with the cart, ask for stuff, invade each other's space (and mine). I yell at them while wanting to jump over the counter and get my own lunch meat.

This is how it is no matter what part of the country I'm in or what store. I have never seen an energized, pleasant, deli counter worker ever! I'm not exaggerating! It's like they go through some kind of brainwashing/training that takes all the life and ability to care out of them before they are allowed to work. I picture a room like the one in Orwell's 1984. Is there any other explanation? Is there anyone out there who has had a pleasant experience at a deli counter? I'd like to know if it's possible.......

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Your own, personal Jesus

I saw this in Walmart the other day and thought, this is too much! I cracked up at the description under Jesus: "God's son" (just in case you didn't know).....

Notice too, the positioning of Jesus next to the dinosaur. I'm sure deliberately done to get a rise out of creationists!

I can see parents buying these for their kids and then hear them at home, "Tommy! Don't throw Jesus across the room! You'll go to hell!"